39 USC 409 - Suits by and against the Postal Service
Sec. 409. Suits by and against the Postal Service(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, the United States district courts shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction over all actions brought by or against the Postal Service. Any action brought in a State court to which the Postal Service is a party may be removed to the appropriate United States district court under the provisions of chapter 89 of title 28.
(b) Unless otherwise provided in this title, the provisions of title 28 relating to service of process, venue, and limitations of time for bringing action in suits in which the United States, its officers, or employees are parties, and the rules of procedure adopted under title 28 for suits in which the United States, its officers, or employees are parties, shall apply in like manner to suits in which the Postal Service, its officers, or employees are parties.
(c) The provisions of chapter 171 and all other provisions of title 28 relating to tort claims shall apply to tort claims arising out of activities of the Postal Service.
(1) For purposes of the provisions of law cited in paragraphs (2)(A) and (2)(B), respectively, the Postal Service—
(A) shall be considered to be a "person", as used in the provisions of law involved; and
(B) shall not be immune under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit in Federal court by any person for any violation of any of those provisions of law by any officer or employee of the Postal Service.
(2) This subsection applies with respect to—
(A) the Act of July 5, 1946 (commonly referred to as the "Trademark Act of 1946" (15 U.S.C. 1051 and following)); and
(B) the provisions of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to the extent that such section
5 applies to unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
(1) To the extent that the Postal Service, or other Federal agency acting on behalf of or in concert with the Postal Service, engages in conduct with respect to any product which is not reserved to the United States under section 1696 of title 18, the Postal Service or other Federal agency (as the case may be)—
(A) shall not be immune under any doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit in Federal court by any person for any violation of Federal law by such agency or any officer or employee thereof; and
(B) shall be considered to be a person (as defined in subsection (a) of the first section of the Clayton Act) for purposes of—
(i) the antitrust laws (as defined in such subsection); and
(ii) section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to the extent that such section
5 applies to unfair methods of competition.
For purposes of the preceding sentence, any private carriage of mail allowable by virtue of section 601 shall not be considered a service reserved to the United States under section 1696 of title 18.
(2) No damages, interest on damages, costs or attorney’s fees may be recovered, and no criminal liability may be imposed, under the antitrust laws (as so defined) from any officer or employee of the Postal Service, or other Federal agency acting on behalf of or in concert with the Postal Service, acting in an official capacity.
(3) This subsection shall not apply with respect to conduct occurring before the date of enactment of this subsection.
(1) Each building constructed or altered by the Postal Service shall be constructed or altered, to the maximum extent feasible as determined by the Postal Service, in compliance with 1 of the nationally recognized model building codes and with other applicable nationally recognized codes.
(2) Each building constructed or altered by the Postal Service shall be constructed or altered only after consideration of all requirements (other than procedural requirements) of zoning laws, land use laws, and applicable environmental laws of a State or subdivision of a State which would apply to the building if it were not a building constructed or altered by an establishment of the Government of the United States.
(3) For purposes of meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) with respect to a building, the Postal Service shall—
(A) in preparing plans for the building, consult with appropriate officials of the State or political subdivision, or both, in which the building will be located;
(B) upon request, submit such plans in a timely manner to such officials for review by such officials for a reasonable period of time not exceeding 30 days; and
(C) permit inspection by such officials during construction or alteration of the building, in accordance with the customary schedule of inspections for construction or alteration of buildings in the locality, if such officials provide to the Postal Service—
(i) a copy of such schedule before construction of the building is begun; and
(ii) reasonable notice of their intention to conduct any inspection before conducting such inspection.
Nothing in this subsection shall impose an obligation on any State or political subdivision to take any action under the preceding sentence, nor shall anything in this subsection require the Postal Service or any of its contractors to pay for any action taken by a State or political subdivision to carry out this subsection (including reviewing plans, carrying out on-site inspections, issuing building permits, and making recommendations).
(4) Appropriate officials of a State or a political subdivision of a State may make recommendations to the Postal Service concerning measures necessary to meet the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2). Such officials may also make recommendations to the Postal Service concerning measures which should be taken in the construction or alteration of the building to take into account local conditions. The Postal Service shall give due consideration to any such recommendations.
(5) In addition to consulting with local and State officials under paragraph (3), the Postal Service shall establish procedures for soliciting, assessing, and incorporating local community input on real property and land use decisions.
(6) For purposes of this subsection, the term "State" includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and a territory or possession of the United States.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, legal representation may not be furnished by the Department of Justice to the Postal Service in any action, suit, or proceeding arising, in whole or in part, under any of the following:
(A) Subsection (d) or (e) of this section.
(B) Subsection (f) or (g) of section 504 (relating to administrative subpoenas by the Postal Regulatory Commission).
(C) Section 3663 (relating to appellate review).
The Postal Service may, by contract or otherwise, employ attorneys to obtain any legal representation that it is precluded from obtaining from the Department of Justice under this paragraph.
(2) In any circumstance not covered by paragraph (1), the Department of Justice shall, under section 411, furnish the Postal Service such legal representation as it may require, except that, with the prior consent of the Attorney General, the Postal Service may, in any such circumstance, employ attorneys by contract or otherwise to conduct litigation brought by or against the Postal Service or its officers or employees in matters affecting the Postal Service.
(A) In any action, suit, or proceeding in a court of the United States arising in whole or in part under any of the provisions of law referred to in subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1), and to which the Commission is not otherwise a party, the Commission shall be permitted to appear as a party on its own motion and as of right.
(B) The Department of Justice shall, under such terms and conditions as the Commission and the Attorney General shall consider appropriate, furnish the Commission such legal representation as it may require in connection with any such action, suit, or proceeding, except that, with the prior consent of the Attorney General, the Commission may employ attorneys by contract or otherwise for that purpose.
(h) A judgment against the Government of the United States arising out of activities of the Postal Service shall be paid by the Postal Service out of any funds available to the Postal Service, subject to the restriction specified in section 2011 (g).
Last modified: July 21, 2011